The poem, Beowulf, was composed in 800 A.D. and recorded in 1000 A.D. Since then the story has evolved with time and our changing culture. There are a handful of various Beowulf movies. I will be comparing this poem to the 2007, Beowulf movie Starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie. I will compare the Anglo-Saxon view of the monsters and villains, the similarities and differences in the monster themselves, and any distorted or misinterpreted aspects of Beowulf.
In the poem, the story itself tells a lot about the Anglo-Saxon view of monsters and villains. The early Anglo Saxons were pagans, meaning they had many gods and superstitions. Their view of villains and monsters were people against the king, gods, or the law. The later Christian clerics of their time changed some of the wording of the story to reflect their beliefs. For example, in the poem, Grendel is introduced as a descendant of Cain, a biblical reference. All Cain’s descendants are referred to as monsters. This emphasizes that the real villain is man himself. The poem shows this allegorical level of evil by the side stories included in the novel and film. For example, the monsters Beowulf battles symbolize our human weaknesses. The dragon represents greed. Grendel represents envy, jealousy, and fear of rejection. Grendel’s mother represents the Anglo-Saxon’s revenge culture. The movie differs from these weaknesses. As our culture has changed so has some of the themes in Beowulf. A weakness the movie uses is lust. This movie is has been sexualized, and a human weakness added to the movie is Grendel’s mothers sexuality. In the movie Grendel’s mother seduces both King Hrothgar and Beowulf. The offspring of their crime has been cursed, Hrothgar’s offspring is Grendel, and Beowulf’s offspring is the dragon. This also shows that these monsters originated from human beings, the root of evil.
The villains and monsters have specific characteristics that are...